Wyoming got EPA to defer statement on fracking study
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming’s governor persuaded the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to postpone an announcement linking hydraulic fracturing to groundwater contamination, giving state officials - whom the EPA had privately briefed on the study - time to attempt to debunk the finding, an investigation by the Associated Press has found.
During the delay before the study rocked the oil and gas industry more than a month later, state officials raised dozens of questions about the finding that the procedure may have tainted groundwater near the gas-patch community of Pavillion.
Gov. Matthew Mead contacted EPA Director Lisa P. Jackson and persuaded her to hold off any announcement, according to state emails and an interview with the governor.
The more than 11,000 emails made available to the Associated Press in response to a state records request show that Wyoming officials took advantage of the postponement to “take a hard line” and coordinate an “all-out press” against the EPA in the weeks leading up to the announcement Dec. 8. ...